Author

Randy Evans

Randy Evans

Randy Evans is executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, a 43-year-old nonprofit education and advocacy organization that works for improved government transparency and citizen accountability. He can be reached at [email protected]

COMMENTARY

Rural Iowa should brace for school ‘vouchers’

By: - November 22, 2022

It won’t be long before empty parking spaces near the Iowa Capitol will be as hard to find as a compromise between Democrats and Republicans. The Legislature returns to Des Moines on Jan. 9, more firmly in Republican control than it was on May 24, when this year’s session ended. With their strong showing in […]

COMMENTARY

Could another Mamie Till bring gun change?

By: - November 11, 2022

Mamie Till came along at the right time in American history. During the 1950s, in an era when many Americans were blind to the grotesque toll of racial hatred, this courageous Illinois mother stepped forward and opened America’s eyes. What people saw outraged them — the mutilated body of her 14-year-old son, Emmett, lying in […]

COMMENTARY

Where’s the GOP outrage over farm debt assistance?

By: - October 25, 2022

I try to stay atop the day’s news. But I must have dozed off last week — because I missed the response from Iowa Republican leaders to the Biden administration’s announcement of $1.3 billion in debt relief to 36,000 farmers who have fallen behind on their farm loan payments. In making the announcement, U.S. Agriculture […]

COMMENTARY

Secrecy isn’t how police build trust and respect

By: - October 19, 2022

Middle ground is not something that often is seen nowadays in Iowa government or our politics. These days, candidates, elected officials and community members often are seen as flawed if they speak in favor of the middle ground. Case in point: Too many people have staked out extreme positions on one of the most important […]

COMMENTARY

Yearlong banishment from a public meeting isn’t ‘reasonable’

By: - October 7, 2022

“Reasonable” is a word that is used often in Iowa’s laws. Reasonable fees. Reasonable rules. Reasonable efforts. Reasonable force. But events in recent weeks show government officials are not always following what many Iowans would think the term means. And when government officials deviate from “reasonable,” they should not be surprised if their standing or […]

COMMENTARY

Two Iowa care center deaths raise uncomfortable questions about justice

By: - October 4, 2022

There was a recent news update about two elderly Iowans who wandered away from different care centers last winter and froze to death. There is no question the deaths were horrible tragedies. There is no question they resulted from carelessness and a needless lack of attention by employees of the centers. There are important questions […]

COMMENTARY

Technology has super-sized community donations

By: - September 24, 2022

Growing up in Bloomfield in the 1950s and 1960s, I remember seeing empty coffee cans next to the cash registers in places like Ollie O’Briant’s drug store, Bill Tews’ coffee shop and Isham Pottorff’s gas station. The cans had handwritten signs taped to the side — a common fundraising technique of the day. Those simple […]

COMMENTARY

Interest group’s ad rakes Axne over term limits issue but ignores Grassley, Ernst

By: - September 17, 2022

Televisions are getting larger, but that does not make it easier to decipher the political ads that are as common these days as gnats at a picnic. There is one thing we should understand about these ads: Their purpose is not to educate voters or inform them about the finer points of a candidate’s views. Instead, […]

COMMENTARY

Wise school leaders don’t keep the public in the dark about cybercrime

By: - September 11, 2022

These days, I stand in front of audiences and engage in what is politely called “public speaking” more often than even Mr. Gentry ever imagined when I showed up at his office door 55 years ago with a bug-eyed expression of concern. Mr. Gentry was the guidance counselor at Davis County High School. He was […]

COMMENTARY

We all don’t benefit equally from government aid — it’s not just student loans

By: - September 3, 2022

President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel up to $10,000 in federal student loans for many borrowers is fair game for vigorous debate — and disagreement. Americans have been debating and disagreeing for 246 years. What jumps out in this latest dispute is how some politicians are blind to the inconsistencies in their arguments against this […]

COMMENTARY

A welcome antidote for what ails our spirits

By: - August 20, 2022

Not all of the best medicine comes with a prescription from a physician. Don’t read this to mean I am advocating treating coronavirus with ivermectin, a drug more often used on horses. That’s not what is on my mind today. Recent news has left many of us discouraged. Floods, wind storms, shootings, politicians, pestilence, and […]

COMMENTARY

Iowa gives too little attention to care of its elderly

By: - August 13, 2022

People in the health care field have worked their tails off since the COVID pandemic hit Iowa with a vengeance in 2020. Doctors, nurses and all manner of technicians and support staff have performed heroically under circumstances that often were trying. But the death this year of a patient at a Centerville care center has […]